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HistoryMakers Collaborates with NFL, NFL Films

The NFL and NFL Films will partner with HistoryMakers, the nation's largest African American video oral history archive.

HistoryMakers has featured past HBCU sports greats like Mel Blount (Southern), Harry Carson (South Carolina State), Bob Love (Southern), Art Shell (Maryland State aka University of Maryland Eastern Shore), Williye B. White (Chicago State), and Doug Williams (Grambling State).  

On Tuesday, June 15, the National Football League and NFL Films announced they have agreed to donate footage to The HistoryMakers, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Chicago. Under terms of the agreement, in addition to two years of funding the NFL will provide The HistoryMakers with hundreds of hours of footage from interviews with NFL African American legends from the past and present, including dozens of Pro Football Hall of Fame players. 

NFL Films will donate their production services to interview prominent African American football players for inclusion to The HistoryMakers archives which our housed permanently at the Library of Congress.

"We feel a deep debt of gratitude to the NFL and NFL Films for this incredible gift as this level of commitment will help move The HistoryMakers sports initiative forward in ways that we need and previously could not have imagined," says Julieanna Richardson, Founder & President of The HistoryMakers. "Our goal since our inception has always been to document the African American experience across a variety of disciplines and this commitment will ensure that the stories of African American football legends and African Americans who have played a critical role in NFL history will now become part of this nation's patrimony."

"We are thrilled to team up with The HistoryMakers and contribute to their rich video archives of African American history" said Ross Ketover, Senior Executive of NFL Films. "This will truly be a mutually beneficial relationship as our NFL Films interviews will be seen by a whole new audience, while The HistoryMakers will be able to add much needed history to its national archives to educate millions for years to come."


Since its inception, The HistoryMakers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit headquartered in Chicago, has grown to become the nation's largest African American video oral history archive. With education as its mission, this one-of-a-kind collection is housed permanently at the Library of Congress and provides an unprecedented and irreplaceable physical and online record of African American lives, accomplishments, and contributions through unique first-person testimony. Over the past twenty-two years, almost 3,400 video oral history interviews (11,000 hours) have been recorded in 413 cities and towns, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Norway across a variety of disciplines. The interviews, each lasting two to fifteen hours in length, include recollections referencing people and events dating back to the 1700s and thousands of subjects. The HistoryMakers Digital Archive now and well into the future will provide a more complete understanding of who we are as Americans, where we have come from, and where we are going as a nation.

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Winner of 136 Sports Emmy® Awards, NFL Films remains a gold standard in sports television, providing unprecedented access to and legendary storytelling about the sport of professional football. NFL Films is a part of NFL Media, the owned and operated media division of the National Football League, which is comprised of NFL Network, NFL Films, the NFL App, and NFL RedZone.